Bridges have enabled travelers to reach different spots, divided by water or by valleys, and often giving a spectacular view along the way. Louisiana is a state formed with areas surrounding swamps and the Mississippi River and hence many of the longest bridges, flying over those swamps, are found here. Other bridges include some of the many bridges joining the Florida Keys in Florida with the mainland or each other.
For those who want to drive along with the wind on these giants of man-made construction and cross them off their list, here are 10 longest bridges in the US.
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Longest bridges in the United State
Here is the list of longest bridges in USA. The list is arranged in the descending order of the length of each bridge. So, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, Louisiana is the longest bridge in USA.
1. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, Louisiana (24 miles (38.5 km))
Joining the north and south of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, this causeway bridge has held the Guinness World Record for the longest bridge in the world since 1969. After some controversy in 2011 after which it was named “longest bridge over water (continuous)”. The “continuous” is used in the right sense that this bridge is absolutely over water for its nearly 24-mile stretch and has no land around it except at the edges since it runs across the Lake Pontchartrain. It was constructed to allow travelers to avoid a 1.5-hour drive around the lake to get to the other side of the city. The bridge crosses the lake in southern Louisiana, with its southern end in the Metairie suburb of New Orleans and the northern end in Mandeville. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, Louisiana is the longest bridge in USA.
2. Manchac Swamp Bridge, Louisiana (23 miles)
Another long stretch of the manmade structure is found in Louisiana. One of the longest bridges in the world over water, the Manchac Swamp Bridge is a twin concrete trestle bridge carrying the interstate road. This one is the second longest bridge in USA. It drives over the Manchac (meaning rear-entrance) Swamp and it is toll-free. Some people have suggested it to be the longest toll-free bridge in the world, costing around $7 million per mile to construct.
3. Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, Louisiana (29km)
Renamed in 1989 as the Louisiana Airborne Memorial Bridge, this bridge is known better by its original name because it is built over the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest swamp in the US. Located in Southern Louisiana, the bridge has two exits: one for Whiskey Bay and another for Butte La Rose. While the two sections run mostly parallel, they merge when crossing the Whiskey Bay Pilot Channel and the Atchafalaya River.
4. Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, Virginia (17.6 miles (28.4 km))
After its opening in 1964, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel was selected “One of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World”. The Bridge-Tunnel provides a direct link between Southeastern Virginia and Delaware, cutting 90 minutes (about 153 km) from the journey between Virginia Beach and the northern part of Wilmington, Delaware. This marvel of architecture is open to four-lane traffic and has a tunnel that goes underwater for a mile.
5. I-10 Bonnet Carré Spillway Bridge, Louisiana (11 miles (17 km))
Opened in 1972, this spillway bridge carries in the interstate I-10 of Louisiana with it crossing the Bonnet Carré. The Spillway is a flood control mechanism which brings the water from the Mississippi River into the Lake Pontchartrain. This helps in getting the flood water into the lake and thus saving the nearby New Orleans metropolitan area from floods of the Mississippi River. With a total length of 17,702 m, crossing both the lake and the Bonnet Carré, it is one of the longest bridges in the world.
6. San Mateo–Hayward Bridge, California (7 miles (11 km))
Crossing the scenic San Francisco Bay, this bridge is the longest in California and famous for its masterclass engineering and design work. While the original bridge opened in 1929, it was reconstructed into the current one and completed in 1967. This busy bridge carries around 80,000 vehicles every day from Foster City (in San Mateo) to Hayward while transport ships pass under it without interrupting the traffic. It was originally known as the San Francisco Bay Toll Bridge, while the name changed subsequently, the $5 toll for westbound cars still applies.
7. Seven Mile Bridge, Florida (6.7 miles (10.8 km))
It connects Marathon, Florida (the Knight’s Key part of the city) to Little Duck Key (an island in the Lower Keys). When built, it was among the longest bridges in existence. There are two bridges as parts of this bridge; the newer bridge is open to vehicles and traffic while the older one is open only to cyclists and pedestrians. This bridge has been featured in Hollywood films such as and 2 Fast 2 Furious, True Lies and Licence to Kill. Thus, there is no denying its popularity and beauty being built over the open waters of the Florida Keys (the Islands of Florida).
8. General W.K. Wilson Jr. Bridge, Alabama (6 miles (10 km))
Popularly known as the Dolly Parton Bridge because of its arches and red warning lights atop them, the bridge crosses the Mobile-Tensaw River delta from the county of Mobile, Alabama and Baldwin County, Alabama. It carries four lanes of the Interstate-65 over it, accompanied by the scenery of the river delta and the vast green wetlands around it. Completed in 1978, it is named after General W.K. Wilson Jr., Chief of Engineers with the United States Army Corps of Engineers and a long-term resident of Mobile.
9. Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge, North Carolina (5 miles (8 km))
10. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Maryland (4.3 miles (6.9 km))
Locally known as the “Bay Bridge”, it is a major dual-span bridge in the state of Maryland, crossing the Chesapeake Bay. Opened in 1952, its purpose was to connect the rural Eastern Shore with the urban Western Shore region of the state. At that time, it was the longest continuous over-water steel structure in the world. It is a vital bridge in transport as it a part of the cross-country US Route 50, also connecting various tourist destinations along the way.
Another bridge, tying for number 10 in terms of length and beauty is in Florida.
11. Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Florida (4.1 miles (6.6 km))
The Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge often referred to as simply the Skyway is a cable-stayed bridge connecting St. Petersburg, Florida to Terra Ceia. The iconic cable style of the bridge earned it the status of a symbol for Florida. After many hazards, issues and subsequent demolitions, the current Sunshine Skyway opened in 1987 and it crosses the famous Tampa Bay. It has been featured in a variety of movies and TV series. There is a $1.50 toll for passenger cars crossing the bridge.
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Plenty of such bridges can be found in Louisiana including The Louisiana Highway 1 Bridge, southern Louisiana (8 miles, 13 km) and the Norfolk Southern Lake Pontchartrain Bridge, New Orleans (5.8 miles, 9.3 km), and in Michigan such as the Mackinac Bridge (8 km) in the Straits of Mackinac with similar purposes and scenic views. Most of the bridges here cross over waterways and hence they are recorded as “bridges over water”.
These are the top longest bridges in USA that are really architectural wonders. Such long bridges make the journey easy and less hectic. If you have been there on any of these bridges, do share more about the longest bridges in USA with us.